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Investigating Divergent Thinking in Creativity Exercises Through Alternative Uses Tests

[+] Author Affiliations
Anthony Nix, Ryan Arlitt, Sebastian Immel, Mark Lemke, Rob Stone

Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Paper No. DETC2014-35335, pp. V003T04A014; 7 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3: 16th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 11th International Conference on Design Education; 7th Frontiers in Biomedical Devices
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4634-6
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Creativity is a valuable skill for today’s workplace and one that universities should be emphasizing in the classroom. Teaching creativity usually involves the completion of “creative exercises” that help an individual understand how to think outside the box. Often individuals that are considered creative “practice” creativity on a daily basis, either through their own will or through their occupation, which increases their creative potential. Creativity is shown to be divided into multiple aspects, one of which is divergent thinking. This study examines participants’ divergent thinking skills over nine weeks as they perform a simple design task each week. The participants are split into two groups as they perform an alternative uses test on a weekly basis. Each week a new item is presented and the results are collected and entered in a database. The number of entries per card is analyzed to determine if the participants have increased their divergent thinking ability throughout the nine weeks.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Creativity



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